adidas samba suede Britain’s biggest shoe fans including one who rates Primark as highly as McQueen
For some of us, shoes are merely protectors of the feet, something that enables us to walk from A to B in comfort.
For others, they’re an all absorbing hobby that requires a healthy bank balance to fund them and plenty of storage space to house them.
London’s V museum’s hit exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, which runs until January 31st 2016, features two real life shoe collectors happy to admit they’re completely obsessed with footwear.
Here, FEMAILmeets two of the owners who’ve seen their shoes housed in the museum’s glass cases and finds out what drives them to keep searching for their next pair.
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Katie Porter, 47, is a freelance events manager and lives in Ravenscourt Park, London. She owns more than 230 pairs of shoes
Imelda Marcos eat your heart out! Lifelong shoe fan Katie Porter, 47, from London has some 170 pairs of heels and 50 pairs of boots in her collection
Since I could walk, I’ve been absolutely fascinated by shoes. There are a few moments in my early life that I think are key to understanding my current collection.
A treat for me as a child would be to go to Clark’s shoe shop; I felt like Cinderella and loved having my feet measured, the mirrors, the whole splendour of being made to feel special.
At infant’s school when I was about five I have very clear memories of a dressing up box and I would always, without fail, go for the high heel shoes.
By the time I’d reached secondary school, I was already in love with shoes. I attended the local comprehensive in Sunningdale, as did the son of Diana Dors and she used to arrive at the school to drop him off in the most amazing high heeled leopard skin shoes. That was a real catalyst for my passion; I took myself off to the King’s Road in Chelsea and bought a pair of leopard print chelsea boots.
Now, I don’t know the exact amount of shoes I have but if I had to put a rough figure on it,
I’d say around 230 pairs, with at least 170 of those high heels and the rest boots. I don’t include flats!
There’s a bit of everything in there; t bars, plain shoes, court shoes for work. I genuinely believe that a pair of heels can give you confidence; I feel more alive, more awake when I wear them. I try and wear them all.
When I go into a shoe shop, within five seconds I can scan the entire shop. I have to try them on and love looking in the mirror. I’m a size five so it’s pretty easy for me to get the shoes I like.
When I moved to my latest flat in London, my first priority when looking at the bedroom size was how much space I’d have to fit in my collection. I’ve had floor to ceiling shelves installed to house them.
They’re the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning and I love them in a way that people might love a collection of books; they’re ornamental to me.
My current favourite shoe shop is Kurt Geiger, which just seem to be getting it right at the moment.
I’m not led by price; I’ve paid 1 for a pair of shoes before and just last week a group of girls complimented me on a pair of blue suede lace ups I was wearing. When they asked where they were from, I told them I’d picked them up in Primark for 7.
My most expensive pair are Alexander McQueen boots which I picked up in the Selfridges’ shoe hall.
They’re black and white golfing shoes and cost around 700. It’s a horribly feeling when you pick up a shoe that you love and you know they’re out of your realm, you almost gag at the price, but I had to have those. My collection is all about nostalgia, childhood and memories. They are triggers to good times growing up.
I can’t put a figure on exactly how many pairs of vintage trainers retro designs from the 60s, 70s, 80s and some from the 90s that I have but it must be in the hundreds. I have to keep most of them in storage and generally don’t wear any of them; they’re
My passion started growing up in Dalston in East London. I used to wear an adidas Kick trainer for school; a really simple black trainer with a gum sole and three white stripes. It was my first pair and felt a step above the plain black plimsoll with the elastic strap that we also used to wear.
Prized collection: These adidas Micropacers set Robert back 650 but he doesn’t regret spending the money
My brother and his friends were five years older than me and I used to see what they were wearing and want a pair.
An influential moment for me came at secondary school when my Dad bought me a pair of adidas Jeans. I’d seen them in blue suede and with blue stripes and loved them. I’d been unwell and he thought I deserved a treat. That was the moment I thought ‘I’ve arrived! I’m in the league!’.